“A man is made in the rough-and-tumble of the world a lady emerges from the flossy back rooms of her own imagination.”
― Anna Godbersen
From whence, then, does the super lady come?
And why is there this trend at the moment of elegant perfume houses calling their perfumes by such tacky names?
Magnolia, green leaves, toffee apple, blackberry, pear, white amber.
Superlady is one of the Huitieme Art collection by renowned perfumer Pierre Guillaume. This French perfume house has a significant number of scents in its collection and we have reviewed several of their lines before, including the sugary Sucre d’Ebene, the leathery floral Suede Osmanthe, the figgy gardens of Jardins de Kerylos and the woody nuances of Shermine and Aqaysos.
One of the things we like most about the Pierre Guillaume stable of fragrances is the fact that they strike a balance between sophistication and intimidation really well. It is very easy to like their fragrances; they wear easily and, despite being a luxury product, the scents themselves aren’t intimidating. Pierre Guillaume is a gateway drug to the wonderful world of niche fragrance.
Enter Superlady into this context; a perfume that takes youthful exuberance a little further than sophistication would allow. What happens when an elegant brand does a perfume hinged entirely on the shtick of femininity but makes it less sophisticated and complex than others in their line? Is it still good? Should you still buy it?
Superlady starts with a fragrant greenery that is almost herbal in nuance, slightly dry, it has a rather comforting feel about it, almost like the smell of hands that have been taking cuttings in the garden on a warm spring day.
There’s a vanilla like flavour in the top notes as well and the smell of an unripe pear that you’ve gently placed in the fruit bowl in the hope that it will ripen before it rots.
These initial notes are backed up by a big, fluffy floral. It’s supposed to be an imaginary magnolia but we wouldn’t say that you smell it and exclaim ‘MAGNOLIA’ at the top of your lungs. To our testers it smelled definitely floral, definitely of a delicate flower, but almost like the dream of a blossom, diffuse, fuzzy, pleasant but with blurry, indistinct edges.
Think of those films where the protagonist dreams of their mother running around in a garden in a floaty white linen dress with petals falling all around her, and all the colours are a bit strange but you can’t exactly say why, and everything is slightly out of focus or doubled up, because its a dream. That’s the sort of feeling this scent gives you.
The heart of the perfume develops into something much fruitier than the top. The fruity notes are much less refined than we sometimes get from Pierre Guillaume, and the overall impression is of a youthful, friendly and fairly simple heart. A strong seam of something that smells like blackberry develops, it has a real tartness about it which is very pleasant alongside much sweeter nuances of toffee and apple.
The base of Superlady is very dry and powdery, it’s warm, fuzzy and cosy. It has hints of warm skin about it. The white amber is a little fresher and less busy than you might expect from an amber base, whilst still retaining that rich quality that amber has.
We have to say, the first few times we tested this, we struggled to fall in love with it. It smelled like something very middle of the road, pleasant but more a response to the market rather than a piece of art in its own right. Undercutting the playfulness, we wondered if we could detect something cynical – deliberately inoffensive and easy to wear so it would sell well, rather than art that happened to have a spring in its step. We persevered, however, and by the third or fourth wear we did really find ourselves warming up to it.
The other stuff
Superlady is a really tricky perfume to judge. It feels very simple when you wear it, unrefined almost. But there is this playful naivety that it has which after a few tries really comes across as charming. It’s very easy to wear: sweet but not too sweet, fruity but floral, light but not so light that it disappears after a couple of hours. But it doesn’t have a lot of gravitas. If you are looking for something to command attention then this probably isn’t right. If, however, you are looking for something bright and cozy, light and spring-like, then we would definitely suggest investigating further.
The sillage, or projection, of the scent when worn was moderate, it did project somewhat, but seemed to stay fairly close to the body. The longevity of the scent was good; it lasted through to late afternoon or early evening before it disappeared.
This is marketed as a feminine fragrance and we can see it appealing mostly to those on the female end of the market. Perhaps also more to girls than ladies or women, but that’s fine, wear it if you’re youthful or young at heart.
Sometimes scents feel like they would wear well all year round, and at other times they seem to fit a specific season or activity. To us, Superlady smelled like it would suit springtime best, and for daytime dates or trips to the park. It has this young, yummy mummy vibe about it and we can see it appealing to this section of the market quite strongly.
Superlady is available to buy from Bloom Perfumery London, where it is priced at £131 for 100ml EdP or £88 for 50ml. Bloom very kindly supplied us with a tester of this fragrance.
You can also buy Superlady from the Pierre Guillaume website where it is priced at €146 for the 100ml sized bottle.